Feb 28, 2005 at 10:05 o\clock

My Army Days (Part 3)

by: henry

My Commanding Officer

The army camp was sub-divided into about ten units, each having their own functions and operations. The unit I attached to was a volunteer unit catering for people who were not called up. Some wanted to do their parts in serving the nation, some because of the prestiges as an army officer and yet there were others lured by the cheap beer offered.

The unit comprised people from all walks of life. Cabinet Minister, members of parliament, top lawyers, big bosses, artists ... down to casual workers. The Commanding Officer, a Major, was a civilian. He was the production manager of a major brewing company. Whenever there were documents for him to be endorsed, the chief clerk would asked for two volunteers to see him. Everyone in the office shot up their hands. For first timer, the CO would personally bring us around on a plant tour followed by drinking sessions.

He was a very nice man. He was not someone to put on air both in his capacity as a Commanding Officer in the army and as a production manager in civilian life. We felt very comfortable working under him. He was well liked by many.

For that, I saluted him.

Feb 23, 2005 at 05:32 o\clock

My Army Days (Part 2)

by: henry

My first day in camp

After 3 months of basic military training, I was send to the School of Accountancy to be trained in my vocation as a pay clerk. There were only 5 national servicemen, the rest were lady trainees. Ladies were not required by the constitution to serve in the army. They were there to make a carrer out of it. All of them were friendly and in no times we found ourselves going out together and having sing-along-sessions. On the 6th weeks, we were posted out and were waiting for personnels from our respective camps to pick us up.

On my way to the camp in a Land Rover, the corporal said that there were some similarities in my name and one of his army buddies who had just left after fulfilling his 2 years of national service. He was none other than my elder brother. When I reached the camp, the corporal introduced me to the unit's second-in-command, a Captain. I saluted and wished him good-morning. Upon learning of my sibling, he was very happy, he said "so, you are his brother...and I can see that you are a marksman. Tomorrow you follow me go shooting, I take rifle no 1, you take rifle no. 2." Under the military laws, all marksmen were presented with a badge, two rifles crossing, to be worn on the left side of the sleeves at all times and he spotted it. I was introduced to the rest of the personnels. They welcomed me with open hearts. My brother's army buddies were now all my buddies. Instincts told me that my army life thereafter would be a breeze. The next day, I went to withdraw my rifle for shooting practices. I requested for rifle no. 2. The person-in-charge said, "no, no, no! rifle no 1 to 20 are all reserved for army officers."  I told him it was the Captain's instructions. After much confirmation, he handed me the rifle, No 2.  I was the envies of everyone in the camp. Even army officers posed this question to me, "how you managed to get rifle no. 2?"
We went to the shooting range, firing boxes after boxes of bullets. Shooting was fun but not the cleaning up of rifle. During my recruit days, used to be yelled at by the coporals, "there's a big elephant inside the barrel, do you want to drop 20? (meaning 20 push-ups as punishment). To spare the agony to rid the barrel of carbons, I consulted the person in-charge of rifles. He told me to do a casual cleaning and to fill the barrel with lots of oil. We were taking part in an island-wide shooting competition, pitting our skills against other camps. It was divided into 2 groups. Group 1 were for top military units like the commandos. We were in Group 2 .

After months of shooting practices, our efforts were paid off. We emerged the Champion.


Feb 21, 2005 at 04:59 o\clock

Growing old

by: henry

As usual, I was having a lively conversation with my colleagues while waiting for company bus to arrive after knock-off.

I was the oldest among them. At one point, one colleague from another department poked fun at me, for my age. I told them, "my age is at this level whereas that person's age is below. I am very fortunate that today, February, 20th 2005, I am still around speaking to you guys with regards to this issue, age. How about that person who poked fun at older people? Will he be blessed with good health to attain my age? Well, I don't know! Theoretically and pratically, he somehow believes that it should be 'the black hair sending off the white hair', literally means the young people will always sent the older folks off in their final journey and not vice-verse."

I nailed him in the head. It was more than enough to silence him. He who laugh first will laugh last.

I pity this chap for his low mentality. Maybe it was his wish not to grow old.

Well ... no comments from me.


Feb 15, 2005 at 11:02 o\clock

The long arm of coincidence

by: henry

An american leaflet has been looking into the phenomenon of history repeating itself. It comes up with this amazing coincidence:

Both President Kennedy and Lincoln were concerned with civil rights. Lincoln was elected in 1860, Kennedy in 1960.

Both their wives lost children through death while in the White House.

Both were killed on a Friday, in the presence of their wives, and both were shot in the head from behind.

Their successors, both named Johnson, were Southern Democrats, both in the senate. Andrew Johnson was born in 1808, Lyndon Johnson in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's killer was born in 1839, Lee Harvey Oswald in 1939. Both were Southerners favouring unpopular ideas. And both were assassinated before their trials.

Lincoln's secretary, whose name was Kennedy, advised him not to go to the theatre. Kennedy's Secretary, whose name was Lincoln, advised him not to go to the Dallas.

John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in a theatre and ran to a warehouse. Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse and ran to a theatre.

Feb 12, 2005 at 15:03 o\clock


by: henry

I started off my carrer in the marine industry, a Japanese company.
Japanese emphasized a lot on morning exercises. They believed it
was a good start for the day.

At the initial stage, people in the marine industry were a complicated lot.
Some were gentleman-like, others, they spoke and acted like gangsters. Some of them were in fact gangsters, wanted by the authority in their respective countries. The marine sector was also the only place at that time for the lower educated people to make big bucks, on par with supervisory level of other industry.

The ground were marked with spots for us to stand for the morning exercise
with our manager facing us. Whoever did not turned up for the exercise will get  a dressing down from this manager, gangster or whatsoever. I told myself that one day if I did not turn up for the exercise, I will accept his scoldings with grace.

In later life, I realized that with this kind of thinking, my former manager was very successful in his action and as a superior - persistency.

Feb 12, 2005 at 06:43 o\clock

My Army Days (Part 1)

by: henry


I was drafted into the army when I was an 18 year old as required under the constitution to serve my national service. I reported to the centre and all of us were herded onto a 3 tonner (military truck).

National service was still something new, being enforced just a few years ago. It send parents into worrying for their childrens. Everyone of us were glum-faced, some said "hi!', some nodded their heads when their eyes met and some just stared hard on the floor-board. I knew that army life would be tough and I prepared myself for the worst. Soon we reached the School of Basic Military Training. First day of army life was full of lectures, touching
mostly on the disciplinary aspects. Then we started to draw uniforms, army boots, eating utensils etc. In the late afternoon, we queued up for our hair cuts. The 'five by four' style. At the back, any hairs that were covered by the five fingers and... just above the ears, any hairs covered by four fingers were all considered as army properties. It was awful! I have not seen these kind of hair-cuts before. We started laughing as people came out from the camp barber shop, only to be laughed at when it was our turns.

For the next three months, we went through all sorts of training, just to name a few :
Marching - seemed easy. We got people marching with their left hand and left leg out. And because of them we did extra drills under the mercy of the hot sun.
Camouflage - Easiest way out was to cover our helmets with a single big leaf. End results? - punishment. Yelled at by the coporals, " soldier, did you see that tree over there (about hundred metres away), I want you to plunk me two hundred leaves in one minutes time."  Not possible ... additional punishment ... twenty push-ups or until he was satisfied.
Five kilometres run - overheard someone telling the coporals he was not feeling well. "If you were not feeling well, no problem, just dropped down and we have ambulance standing by for you."
Night training - we were served with bread and tea for supper. The bread, hard as stone was covered with what looked like fungus. We threw it away, some were not lucky enough. They were caught and made to eat it followed by severe punishment for wasting foods.

My three months stint with the SBMT was hell but I was toughened by all these rigorous tranings, both physically and mentally. As time passed by, the systems in the army changed for the better. National servicemen were now accorded with better treatments and foods.

Feb 9, 2005 at 04:40 o\clock

The Nigerian Scam

by: henry

Some times back, received a number of e-mails from a Dr Prince...Dr so and so....claiming to be the chief financial officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

NNPC awarded a certain project to contractors. Not only was the project completed, in fact the contractors were fully paid for. They realized that they still have US thirty million dollar on hand. After consultations with the Attorney General, they were told it was legal for them to keep the money, not having to return it to NNPC. But, under Nigerian laws, their own citizens were not allowed to withdraw the money from the banks. And there they were, asking me to be their business partner. All I've got to do was to open a bank account in my country and they will do all the transactions. I was told that I will be getting a twenty percent cut as rewards.

I responded to their proposal, telling them not to pull my leg as April Fool's Day was still a long way to go. They replied that they were serious and were waiting for my favourable response.

Out of curiousity, I surfed the net looking up on articles with regards to NNPC. There was this article posted by the FBI as to what it was all about. All these nigerians were nothing more than conmen. They would tried ways and means, in this case, with hugh amount of money to entice people falling into their traps. Once they found their victims, they would arranged a meeting with them, inviting them to visit Nigeria without visa (they got the means to bribe the immigation officer) to see for themselves the business involved. If the victims listened to them, they will be doomed. Entering a foreign country without visa with no friends around, their lives will be at the mercy of these conmen. The victims will be blackmailed, calling home asking for friends and relatives to sent them money. Failing which, their lives will be in danger. Some did not live to tell their stories, some were lucky enough to escape, but not after undergoing serious tortures.

Within one week, three Drs offered me a total of US sixty million dollar. With a twenty percent rewards, I was richer by a cool US twelve million dollar. 

Tonight, I am going to work out my plan on how to spend the money ..... in my dreams, that is!



Feb 8, 2005 at 10:08 o\clock


by: henry

Definitions for :-

Man - best source of communication. Each carries his own antenna.

Lady - an angel on the streets and a devil on bed.

Feb 1, 2005 at 10:31 o\clock

Men versus women

by: henry

"Men are superior to women. For one thing, men can urinate from a speeding car."